One thing I learned from my education mentors was to understand the difference between “thinking” and “products”. Here’s how I’d sum them up: 🧠 Thinking: how students will manipulate information with their brains. 🎁 Product: how students show us how they’ve thought about the information. When I was a new teacher, you would have seen […]
When we differentiate, we simply offer students opportunities to think at a level appropriate to their ability – not their age nor their grade level.
Differentiate With Classics
Complexity vs Skill
Differentiation Gone Wrong
Get students moving, thinking, writing, and reading each others’ ideas with a Scholar’s Cafe.
With some small changes, we can turn fluffy opinion questions into thought-provoking evaluation questions.
One technique for finding complexity in a topic is to look for the edge cases, the outliers, the really big or small versions.
How one might revamp a “Wax Museum” project into something that focuses more on thinking than product.
Even though he’s in the Duplo age range, my kid is simply more interested in Lego. And it’s always more effective, more respectful, and simply easier to start with a kid’s interests rather than what’s “age-appropriate.”
It’s so easy to just ask advanced students to work by themselves in a corner. But, the more advanced the kid, the more they need advanced instruction and adult guidance.
Acceleration is a cheap and simple way to differentiate for students who are ready for something more. It can mean skipping a whole grade but is more commonly accomplished through subject-specific acceleration. Lots of people have weird arguments against acceleration, but the research shows that it works (when done well).
When differentiating, it’s helpful to note where on the “spectrum of abstraction” your content lies. Then, see what happens when you move that content to be more abstract or more specific. It often unlocks lots of new opportunities for thinking.
One of the most significant barriers to differentiating for gifted learners is a misunderstanding of the purpose of grade-level standards. People see grade-level standards as a maximum. The truth is the complete opposite.